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That in the heav'n of heav'ns, that space he deems 'Too scanty for th' exertion of his beams,
590 And shines as if impatient to bestow Life and a kingdom upon worms below; That sight imparts a never-dying flame, Though feeble in degree, in kind the same. Like him the soul thus kindled from abovo 595 Spreads wide her arms of universal love : And, still enlarg'd as she receives the grace, Includes creation in her close embrace. Bchold a christian and without the fires The founder of that name alone inspires,
600 Though all accomplishment, all knowledge meet To make the shining prodigy complete, Whoever boasts that name-behold a cheat ! Were love, in these the world's last doting years As frequent as the want of it appears,
605 The churches warm’d, they would no longer hold Such frozen figures, stiff as they are cold; Relenting forms would lose their pow'r, or cease ; And e'en the dipp'd and sprinkled live in peace : Each heart would quit its prison in the breast, 610 And flow in free communion with the rest. The statesman, skill'd in projects dark and deep, Might burn his useless Machiavel, and slecp ; His budget often fill’d, yet always poor, Might swing at ease behind his study, door, G15 No longer prey upon our annual rents, Or scare the nation with its big contents. Disbanded legions freely might depart, And slaying man would cease to be an art. No learned disputants would take the field, 620 Sure not to conquer, and sure not to yield ; Both sides deceiv’d, if rightly understood, Pelting each other for the publick good. Did charity prevail, the press
prove A vehicle of virtue, truth, and love;
And I might spare myself the pains to show
Nam neque me tantum venientis sibilus austri,
Virg. Ecl. 5.
THOUGH nature weigh our talents, and dispense o ev'ry man his modicum of sense, And Conversation in its better part May be esteem'd a gift, and not an art, Yet much depends, as in the tiller's toil,
5 On culture and the sowing of the soil. Words learn'd by rote a parrot may rehearse, But talking is not always to converse ; Not more distinct from harmony divine, The constant creaking of a country sign.
10 As Alphabets in ivory employ, Hour after hour, the yet unletter'd boy, Sorting and puzzling with a deal of glee Those seeds of science, called his A B C; So language in the mouths of the adult,
15 Witness its insignificant result, Too often proves an implement of play, A toy to sport with, and pass time away. Collect at evening what the day brought forth, Compress the sum into its solid worth,
And if it weigh the importance of a fly,
There is a prurience in the speech of some,
35 Names almost worthy of a Christian's praise, Would drive them forth from the resort of men, And shut up ev'ry satyr in his den. O come not ye near innocence and truth, Ye worms that eat into the bud of youth ; Infectious as impure, your blighting pow'r Taints in its rudiments the promis'd flow'r; Its odour perish'd, and its charming hue, Thenceforth 'tis hateful, for it smells of you. Not e'en the vigorous and headlong rage
45 Of adolescence, or a firmer age, Affords a plea allowable or just, For making speech the pamperer of lust; But when the breath of age commits the fault, 'Tis nauseous as the vapour of a vault.
50 So wither'd stumps disgrace the sylvan scene, No longer fruitful, and no longer green; The sapless wood, divested of the bark, Grows fungous, and takes fire at every spark.
Oaths terminate, as Paul observes, all strife- 55 Some men have surely then a peaceful life : Whatever subject occupy dise The feats of Vestris, or the naval force,
Asseveration blustering in your face
Go quit the rank to which ye stood preferr’d, 75 Henceforth associate in one common herd; Religion, virtue, reason, common sense, Pronounce your human form a false pretence ; A mere disguise, in which a devil lurks, Who yet betrays his secret by his works.
80 Ye pow'rs who rule the tongue, if such there are, And make colloquial happiness your care, Preserve me from the thing I dread and hate, A duel in the form of a debate, The clash of arguments and jar of words,
85 Worse than the mortal brunt of rival swords, Decide no question with their tedious length, (For opposition gives opinion strength) Divert the champions prodigal of breath, And put the peaceably dispos’d to death.
90 O thwart me not, Sir Soph, at ev'ry turn, Nor carp at ev'ry flaw you may discern ; Though syllogisms hang not on my tongue, I am not surely always in the wrong: 'Tis hard if all is false that i advance,
95 A fool must now and then be right by chance.